Acetylene (C2H2)

Acetylene is a fuel gas which is colorless, odorless and non-toxic. Commercial-grade acetylene contains impurities that give it a garlic-like odor. Chemically represented as C2H2, the colorless gas is widely used as a fuel and has ignition temperature of 325 deg C. Flammability range of the fuel gas ranges from 2.5% to 81% of the volume. With specific gravity of 0.9, the colorless gas is lighter than air with specific gravity of 1. Maroon-colored cylinders are used for supply of the gas for commercial purposed dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF) or acetone. The gas is popular because of its numerous industrial applications. However, the gas has hazardous properties which if not addressed properly might lead to explosions and accidents. Strict observance of safety standards is important while operating acetylene manufacturing plants.

What is Acetylene

Physical Properties of Acetylene

  • Molecular Weight 26.04
  • Gas density at 21 °C (70 °F) 1.1 g/l (0.068 lb/ft3)
  • Specific Gravity, Gas (Air = 1) @ 20°C (68°F) 0.899
  • Specific Volume at 21 °C (70 °F) 0.92 m3/kg (14.8 ft3/lb)
  • Solubility in Acetone @ 20°C (68°F), 1.01 bar (1 atm) 27.9 g/kg
  • Solubility in Acetone @ 20°C (68°F), 15.2 bar 472 g/kg
  • Auto ignition Temperature 305°C (581°F)
  • Flash Point (Closed Cup) -18°C (0°F)
  • Flammable Limits in air 2.4 - 83 % (by volume)

Acetylene Gas Specification

  • Acetylene Flow Rate: 15Nm3/hr to 200Nm3/hr
We manufacture and supply acetylene gas plants that have capacities between 15Nm3/hr and 200Nm3/hr. The acetylene plants or generators can be customized to the requirements of clients.
  • Carbide Size (Standard): 25 to 50 MM
We recommend use of 25 to 50MM as it optimizes the production of acetylene gas. Performance of our generators is based on using the standard size.
  • Carbide required per Kg of acetylene*: 3.3kg
Average carbide required per Kg of acetylene in our acetylene production generators is 3.3kg depending upon the quality of the carbide. Lowe quality carbide raise the average carbide required per Kg of the fuel gas.

How an Acetylene Gas Plant Works

The process for producing acetylene gas involves a chemical reaction between calcium carbide and water. Raw materials used in the reaction are water and calcium carbide, which is popular for commercial production of acetylene. CaC2 (chemical formula for calcium carbide) is made by a mixture of line and coke in a blast furnace. The reaction between water and Cac2 is formulated as CaC2 + 2H2O -> C2H2 + Ca(OH)2 The reaction generates C2H2 (acetylene), calcium hydroxide and heat. Very less moisture content is generated during the reaction.

Detailed Technical Process for Acetylene Production

The process for generation of acetylene gas is described in detail below. We use the standard size of calcium carbide during the testing of acetylene gas plants. However, you can use the CaC2 of varying sizes which will have impact on the performance.
What is Acetylene
The process starts with loading Hopper filling with CaC2 which is then put into the acetylene generator hopper. Then, calcium carbide is added to water which produced acetylene, calcium hydroxide and heat. There is a carbide feed mechanism inside the generator that works by sensing the pressure. After calcium carbide is added the pressure drops, which is followed by more calcium carbide to sustain the reaction to ensure process stream of acetylene remains steady. For cooling the heat generated during the reaction, acetylene gas produced in the process is passed through the cooler condenser with pipes surrounded by water. For removal of water from the acetylene stream the process uses an ammonia scrubber, which helps lower the temperature of the acetylene stream along with the cooler condenser leaving litter water in the stream. Most of moisture is removed with a medium pressure drier leaving behind only what will needed in the purifications process. The process uses calcium chloride for moisture removal. Then, the dried acetylene is passed the acetylene purifier removing impurities such as arsine, phisphine , etc. However, this step can be skipped for industrial acetylene. The final step involves passing acetylene through the purifier scrubber for removing materials from the purifier. For achieving the required final cylinder pressure the acetylene is passed through 3 stages of compression. High pressure driers are used for oil and moisture removal otherwise water would get passed into the cylinders. Acetylene is compressed into cylinders filled liquid acetone and porous mass filler which allows many times the acetylene in the cylinder. However, the ratio of acetone and acetylene will remain constant but cylinder size will determine the amount acetone used. Compressed air from the air compressor is used for operating the acetone pump, slurry pump and ball valves in the Universal Boschi acetylene gas plant. We also provide wide range of components and spare the plants which will need replacing over a period of time.

Components Used in the Acetylene Plant

  • Acetylene generator
  • Condenser
  • Low pressure dryer
  • The LP purifier
  • Ammonia Scrubber
  • Acetylene compressor
  • High Pressure Drier
  • Cylinders filling manifold
  • Flame proof level controller
  • Instrument Control Panel

Our Competitive Advantages

  • Low working pressure
  • Low operating cost
  • Sturdy design
  • User friendly
  • Fully automatic
  • Low maintenance
  • Trouble free operation
  • Latest and high quality
  • High pressure and low pressure safety cut off
  • External lubricator placed
  • Pressure gauges from Wika German
  • CE approved valves
  • Inter-stage moisture separators for moisture drain by centralized drain valve station
  • Latest antistatic v belts

What are the main uses of Acetylene Gas

Acetylene is one of the most popular fuel gases, which is used in wide range industrial applications. It is used in combination with oxygen for generating high flame temperatures. Some of the industrial applications are given below:
  • Welding
  • Cutting
  • Heating
  • Brazing
  • Portable Lighting
  • Plastics and Acrylic Acid Derivatives
  • Production of Chemicals

Frequently Asked Questions

There are two methods for making acetylene gas-chemical and thermal cracking. The former involves reacting calcium carbide with water to yield acetylene and heat. The later uses natural gases like crude oil, naphtha, etc, which are subjected to high temperatures to produce acetylene. However, chemical method is most commonly used for producing acetylene gas for industrial purposes.
It is not one size fits all. It would depend on how many acetylene cylinders your business requires on a daily basis that would decide the size of the acetylene plant.
It should be replaced immediately. Daily maintenance of high pressure drier is recommended to stop moisture from entering the cylinders. Moreover, the drier cap must also be lubricated frequently to prevent it being stuck.
Space required for installation of acetylene plant depends upon the size. Our engineer visits the site and assesses the area and configures the plant layout according to your space.
Our acetylene plant offer quick ROI as most of our clients are reported to have recovered their investment within 18 months to 2 years.
It requires immediate replacement of the drain valve. While changing the generator drain valve the pilot valve must also be replaced.
Acetylene Gas Plant
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